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Raising Revenue through Raffles – a Back-to-School Primer on the Raffle Act

Written by Katy David

Here in Texas, the “back-to-school” mentality is a triumph of imagination over experience. Clothing catalogs suggest that an autumn wardrobe includes corduroy pants and sensible sweaters, while our temperatures hover in the 90s into October.  Nevertheless, educators, students, and parents approach the return to campus with energy, enthusiasm, and commitment to academics and extracurricular activities.  These pursuits can rely heavily on funds raised by a school community. Accordingly, the back-to-school season is a prime time to review some of the laws that apply to school fundraising. This article focuses on state and federal laws governing raffles.

Raffles are a popular way to raise funds for school activities—and for good reason. They allow a school or booster club to transform a few in-kind donations into significant revenue, and they spread the work of raising funds across an army of ticket-seller volunteers. To ensure the success of their fundraiser, organizers should understand the legal requirements that apply to raffles.

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